The 2011 Thanksgiving Fiasco

I was originally going to post another blog today, but since it's Thanksgiving and people are asking me about my plans, I wanted to sit down and tell a story about a past thanksgiving citing one of the reasons as to why I value you my friends and family. Hopefully this story will put in perspective how lucky some of you guys are and hopefully it will wake you up and make you realize what you have right in front of you.

It was November 2011, in Iraq.

Obama had just announced that we were pulling out all of our assets and leaving the country for good. It was a great time for everyone because that meant that a lot of soldiers were going to be home for Christmas and a select few were already back home for Thanksgiving by that point in time. But by that time I was already worn down, stressed beyond any points and over worked to the point where I was just dragging towards the finish line. At the time of the announcement I was glad and even more depressed at the same time because around that time I was told that I couldn't go home for my R&R because they canceled all of those flights and were only doing out bound flights back to wherever people had to go.

I honestly was on the brink of snapping on the next person that was going to try and say something to me, regardless of who it was. But by that point I think everyone recognize either where I was mentally, saw the look of anger on my face every other day, or they were simply oblivious and were only concerned about getting back home. Either way I was left alone to my thoughts and I was just counting down the days til I got back home and on to the next chapter in my life. But before that could happen, Thanksgiving came rolling around all of the dining facilities were having Thanksgiving meals on base for the soldiers.

That was the lone bright spot at that point, well until I got an emergency ticket.

I went out on a job thinking it was going to be something easy and at that point of being on a deployment, I should've simply known better to think that. It was a rather complicated job that lasted pretty much all day and we were severely undermanned and at that point we needed to get it done regardless of the situation. Now that I think back on it, that was probably the hardest job that I took the whole time being over there. But needless to say we were over there all day and well into the night, and by the time we got done, the dining facility was closed.

Needless to say my depression was capped off by that.

I didn't want to hear anything anyone had to say, I went straight to my room, went and took a shower and then I laid down. I've never admitted this to anyone but at that point a SLIGHT tear came down because I was just feeling everything under the sun and none of those feelings equated to anything good. I remember telling myself over and over that it wasn't that much longer before I was home and I would be back around people that cared and I would feel better. So I went to sleep telling myself that repeatedly and I can't even remember what time it was before I eventually passed out from being tired on all levels of life.

But the most awesome thing happened when I woke up, I had a bunch of messages from my close friends and family members. They were your normal we miss you messages but they were just timely, and that was right after the cut off all communications and I just caught the USO before they left so I could check my messages. It was just one of those things where it was when I needed it the most and it got me through that rough stretch where there was no running water or dining facilities open after that point.

I tell this story because it always amazes me how I try to undercut my feelings as a human that sometimes I forget that I'm a human myself. Just cherish your family and friends because you never know when you get to a level of exhaustion that you thought you'd never be on, and they will manage to come through for you. I learned that day, (and many days before that), that God was looking out just for me and that he gave me some pretty awesome people in my life. So as Thanksgiving rolls around and you gather with your family, make sure you take the time to appreciate them and all they do for you, even if you think it's a minuscule.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone & God Bless.

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